Mughniyeh Was in Midst of Planning Mass Terror Attack
A Kuwaiti newspaper reports that Hizbullah terrorist chief Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a car-bomb attack in Damascus on Tuesday, was in the midst of planning major terrorist attacks in moderate Arab countries when he was killed.
Al-Watan reports that American intelligence had learned that Mughniyeh arrived in Damascus three days earlier with instructions from, and in coordination with, the Iranians. His objective was to meet with Hizbullah leaders and coordinate a mass attack, for which he was to receive help from Syrian intelligence.
The American involvement in the killing is explained as being in retaliation for a recent car bomb attack that targeted a U.S. Embassy vehicle; three passersby.
Another Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Siasa, reports that Mughniyeh took part, shortly before he was killed, in a secret meeting in the Iranian School in Damascus. Also participating in the meeting were Syrian Intelligence Chief Gen. Aisaf Shwackath, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, and an Islamic Jihad representative. On the agenda: planned attacks in Arab countries that refuse to take part in the coming Arab League summit in Damascus. The newspaper entertains the possibility that the meeting was merely a camouflage for Syrian involvement in Mughniyeh's killing.
US Tightens Sanctions on Syria
Meanwhile, US President George W. Bush has ordered stricter economic sanctions against Syria, the White House announced in an executive message to Congress.
The order to freeze the assets of people held responsible for actions that "undermine efforts to stabilize Iraq" came Wednesday, the day before Mughniyeh’s burial.
Economic sanctions against Syria date back to 2004 for Syrian support of the Hizbullah and Hamas terrorist groups.
The United States has charged Syria with being behind former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri’s murder, which occurred three years ago this week. "Syria continues to undermine Lebanon's sovereignty and democracy, imprison democracy activists, curtail human rights, and sponsor and harbor terrorists," the White House said.
Hana Levi Julian contributed to this story.